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Mumbai makes wearing of masks mandatory in public places, violators face arrest

Mumbai makes wearing of masks mandatory in public places, violators face arrest

After Chandigarh, wearing masks or covering the face with cloth while moving out has been made mandatory in Mumbai, which accounts for nearly 73 per cent of the total cases in Maharashtra. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has also said that people violating the order would face arrest under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

"All persons moving out for whatever purpose and for whatever reason in public places like streets, hospitals, offices, markets etc must wear mask or cloth mask," the BMC circular stated.

Mumbai has alone reported 782 positive cases and 50 deaths. Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country at 1,078, including 80 patients who have recovered.

On Tuesday, Chandigarh became the first to make wearing masks or covering face with cloth mandatory. This was decided at a review meeting chaired by UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore.

Separately, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urged people to wear masks while going out of their homes and appealed to former defence health services personnel, retired nurses and ward boys to join the "war" against coronavirus.

"People should inculcate the habit of using homemade masks while stepping out of their homes to buy essentials now, and also later when the situation improves. It is now four weeks since the first coronavirus patients were found in Mumbai and Pune. The numbers have been increasing, but it is because the government is going to people to conduct their tests. I want the graph to decline," Thackeray said in his address to the state via live webcast.

The Shiv Sena chief said even though the rising number of patients in Maharashtra was a "cause of concern", there was no need to panic. "We need to bring the number of positive patients to zero," he said.

He further said there was shortage of ventilators, masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) kits the world over. "Even the US is asking for medicines from us. Fortunately, we haven't felt shortage of equipment," he said.

Thackeray said he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the need for supplying food grains at concessional rates to those with annual income upto Rs 1 lakh.

(Inputs and image from theindianexpress.com)

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